La Nina possibility grows –PAGASA

MANILA — The country is increasingly facing possible onslaught of the rain-driving La Nina phenomenon beginning 2016’s second semester.

State-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecast such scenario, noting more international climate models already favor development of La Nina later this year after the weakening El Nino phenomenon’s expected transition to neutral around mid-2016.

“There’s a big possibility for La Nina towards the end of this year,” Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section officer-in-charege (OIC) Anthony Lucero of PAGASA said on Wednesday (May 11) on the side of a forum in Metro Manila.

Citing as basis latest models and historical data, he estimated an 80 percent chance for La Nina this year.

Previous climate models of two internationally renownedinstitutions forecast the drought-driving El Nino phenomenon’s continuation through the second semester of 2016, however, he noted.

La Nina may begin developing during the June-July-August 2016 period, Lucero said.

“We might see La Nina’s manifestations starting October this year,” he warned.

PAGASA forecast above-normal rainfall in most parts of the country that month.

Lucero further said La Nina may peak around December 2016.

If such happens, he said the country — particularly east-lying areas — risk experiencing La Nina’s brunt during the first quarter of next year.

Increasing prospect for La Nina’s occurrence already prompted government to reactivate its watch for this phenomenon.

Above-normal rainfall is among La Nina’s impacts.

“We must prepare accordingly,” said Lucero.

According to experts, La Nina and El Nino are the corresponding cool and warm phases of a recurring natural climate pattern called El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) across tropical Pacific.

They noted an ENSO-neutral state is one in which conditions are near long-term average.

Lucero noted the strong El Nino continues weakening.

He added that latest data favor ENSO-neutral conditions during the May-June-July 2016 period. Catherin Teves/ PNA/